The beginning of autumn is the time of the grape harvest. The vineyards of the Małopolska region, especially those located in the Kraków-Częstochowa Upland and in the Tarnów region, offer not only excellent wines and vine bushes overflowing with the weight of ripe fruit, but also beautiful, idyllic views of the surroundings. Located on south-facing slopes, they do guarantee breath-taking views. A visit to a vineyard can also be a great opportunity to learn the secrets of grape growing and wine production. If you are lucky, you might even be able to take part in the grape harvest, especially as the busy hosts could certainly use the extra hands to help, and for you it could prove to be an absolutely unique experience. Also a great place for relaxation are the region’s vineyards, a large number of which offer comfortable accommodation that is well worth trying.
Do you remember the shinrin yoku, described by Magdalena Petryna in the series Through the Eyes of the Eco Explorer? It was about forest bathing, which is how many people refer to immersing yourself and all your senses in the forest space. Such a ritual definitely lowers the level of stress hormones (cortisol and adrenaline), calms and soothes, allows you to focus on yourself, teaches you to be mindful and practises concentration by listening, gazing and savouring the scent of the forest. Autumn is the best time to take such a forest bath. The variety of colours, the aroma of mulch and forest treasures of nature – mushrooms, the rustle of falling leaves underfoot – all that create a fairy-tale setting in the forest. A forest bath will not only calm you down and make you feel at peace, but will also delight your eyes with the beautiful autumn views. There are many places in the Małopolska region which offer dense forests that are worth visiting, so everyone will find a suitable site here. No matter if you chose the Niepołomice Forest, the Beskid forests, the Dulowska Forest, the Zabierzów Forest or any other forest complex, you will certainly enjoy relaxing within beautiful natural surroundings.
In autumn, the forest attracts not only those who seek calm, but also mushroom pickers. Forests in the Małopolska region are extremely rich in various species of mushrooms, so during a walk you are bound to come across many caps against the background of the forest undergrowth. However, when picking mushrooms, great care should be taken to select only edible species. Having a mushroom book in your backpack can help. However, to be safe, we advise you to collect mushrooms only in your photo album, not necessarily to your basket, leaving the specimens you find in their natural surroundings.
The author of one of the popular scout songs stated that ’mountains are most sincere in autumn...’ and there is a lot of truth to that. The reduced presence of tourist on the trails, the most beautiful landscapes painted with nature and the colours of autumn, the weather which often surprises us with sunshine and high temperatures, create ideal conditions for setting off to the Beskids, Pieniny or Gorce Mountains. Wherever the area is dominated by deciduous and mixed forests, you will be surrounded by a feast of colours and sights unseen at other times of the year. We especially recommend a trip along the Dunajec Gorge, a rafting trip or a cycling trip that will show you this beautiful mountain river surrounded by forests ‘aflame with colours’. The view from the peaks of the Pieniny Mountains is even more impressive. In turn, hiking in the Island Beskids and the Gorce Mountains will reveal many fantastic panoramas and romantic valleys covered with mist... You will also be surprised by the colourful landscape of the Little Beskid with its highest peak – Leskowiec, the top of which can be reached by several different routes. This pleasant family excursion will provide plenty of excitement even for less experienced hikers, and the wonderful panoramas will please everyone’s eye.
Have you ever visited the castles on the Trail of the Eagles’ Nests in the autumn? If not, you absolutely have to give it a try. Located on the limestone hills of the Kraków-Częstochowa Upland, surrounded by old trees, in October their background changes and the limestone stands out against the yellows, browns and reds of the foliage. The Trail of the Eagle’s Nest is an excellent idea for a weekend cycling trip and pleasing your eyes with the beautiful surroundings. Moving along the Dunajec Valley you will also come across beautiful fortresses, which delight with their location and architecture – Czorsztyn, Nidzica, Tropsztyn, Czchów are places where you can admire one medieval castle after another set amidst in beautiful scenery. While hiking in Beskid Sądecki, do not miss Rytro, where you can take a look at the surroundings changed by autumn from the perspective of the castle walls. And the castle in Nowy Wiśnicz in the autumn mist looks like as though it was taken straight out of a fairy tale...
You will find plenty of inspiration for your trips in search of autumn landscapes in the guides Travel Małopolska in the Eco-Rhythm. Reach out to them whenever you feel like taking a trip and getting in touch with the beauty of nature.